Archer, Patrick (1866–1949), writer and Gaelic League activist, was born 19 December 1866 in Oldtown, Co. Dublin, the son of Patrick Archer, a shoemaker, and his wife, Jane Donoghue, a teacher. Having secured a postion in the civil service in 1891, he was appointed to the customs and excise department in Southampton, and then in London. It was there that he founded the Forest Gate branch of the Irish Literary Society, and the society's monthly magazine, The Sunburst, to which he was a regular contributor. During this period he studied the Irish language, and in 1897 he co-founded with Seán Ó Catháin (1873–1937) the Forest Gate branch of the Gaelic League.
On his return to Dublin in 1898 he became heavily involved in running the league, working alongside Douglas Hyde (qv), Eoin MacNeill (qv), and Patrick Pearse (qv). He was appointed to its executive and assisted in the production of its weekly journal An Claidheamh Soluis. A talented singer and musician, he played the fiddle, Irish war bagpipes, flute, and uileann pipes. He gave lessons on the pipes and counted Éamonn Ceannt (qv) and Thomas Ashe (qv) among his pupils. He also taught Irish dancing and adjudicated at the oireachtas of 1901. In that year he was again transferred to England; after a period in Gloucester he was moved to Liverpool in 1910. He returned to work in Ireland in 1913, and retired in 1931.
Archer is best remembered for his poetry, short stories, and ballads, among the last of which is ‘Paud O'Donoghue’. His publications include Humours of Shanwalla (1922), and Fair Fingall (published posthumously in 1975), an account of the history and traditions of the area. His verses and stories appeared in the Shan Van Vocht, the Weekly Freeman, and the Irish Weekly Independent. Archer was also a keen sportsman; in 1888 he was a founder member of the Wild Geese Gaelic football club, in 1890 he founded the Fingal Rovers cycling club, and in London he participated in the founding of the Shamrocks hurling club. In 1892 he married Elizabeth McCann of Dublin, with whom he had five sons and four daughters. He died 19 January 1949 at his home on Finglas Road, Dublin.